The GOP may have screwed themselves with this Nunes Memo and all because it looks like no one proofread it all the way to the end.
The Washington Post just reported that a sentence tucked away at the end of the memo undermines the entire argument it purports to make: that the Russia Investigation should be discredited for having been founded on evidence in the dossier provided to the Clinton Campaign by British Intelligence operative Christopher Steele.
A sentence in the memo’s final paragraph reads:
“The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok,”
That completely negates the argument of the previous four pages, that intelligence concerning Trump Campaign operative Carter Page provided by Christopher Steele triggered the investigation.
Democrats seized on this information and ran with it. And all it took was the wherewithal to read closely all the way to the end of the document.
Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released a statement in response to the memo.
“The authors of the GOP memo would like the country to believe that the investigation began with Christopher Steele and the dossier, and if they can just discredit Mr. Steele, they can make the whole investigation go away regardless of the Russians’ interference in our election or the role of the Trump campaign in that interference,” they said.
Then they really hammered it home.
“This ignores the inconvenient fact that the investigation did not begin with, or arise from Christopher Steele or the dossier, and that the investigation would persist on the basis of wholly independent evidence had Christopher Steele never entered the picture.”
Christopher Steele makes no mention whatsoever of George Papadopoulos in his dossier. So had Steele never even come into the picture, Papadopoulos still would have been the one to trigger the investigation.
According to sources speaking to the Post, the FBI was first alerted to Papadopoulos by Australia in July 2016. Papadopoulos was reported to have bragged to an Australian diplomat while drunk at a bar in London that he had information indicating the Russians had emails damaging to Clinton.
The FBI moved on Papadopoulos in January 2017 and arrested him six months later. All of this proceeded completely independent of the existence of the Steele Dossier.
The GOP served up this airtight rebuttal to their argument on a silver platter. They can’t help but hurt themselves. At this rate, Mueller won’t even have to do anything. The GOP seems to be intent on bringing themselves down.